Hymns in Our Hearts: It is Well With My Soul

It Is Well With My Soul was written by Mr. Horatio G. Spafford and has a most amazing and touching history. Mr. Spafford and his wife endured much trial together in this life. First, the Great Chicago Fire nearly ruined him financially. He was able to pick up the pieces, but the greatest trial was yet to come. Mr. Spafford and his wife and four young daughters were planning a trip to Europe. At the last moment, Mr. Spafford could not go so he sent his family on ahead. The family’s boat struck another at sea and all four daughters were lost. Mrs. Spafford sent her husband a now famous telegram that read “Saved alone… what shall I do?” As Mr. Spafford hurried to his wife in Europe, he wrote this famous hymn allegedly over the very spot were his daughters died. Mr. and Mrs. Spafford went on to have more children and later traveled to Israel to live and started the American Colony which served the poor in the Middle East. Mr. Spafford died in Jerusalem at the age of 60.

This hymn should serve as a reminder to us to not just learn and play hymns, but also to study the life and times behind those that wrote them.When we know the story behind a hymn it can become much more meaningful and personal to us. Some times the stories we may uncover are even more amazing and touching than the hymn itself. Mr. Spafford’s story reminded me somewhat of the story of Job in the Bible. Even through all his trials, he still served God and lived for him. How encouraging to us!

Enjoy learning this hymn. It has become one of my  favorites. It has such a hopeful message and beautiful, contemplative melody. This hymn is such a great example of undying trust in a sovereign and loving Messiah. As we look to Him, may we all say “It is well with my soul!”

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Refrain

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

Refrain

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought—
My sin—not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Refrain

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

Refrain

But, Lord, ‘tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh trump of the angel! Oh voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

Refrain

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so—it is well with my soul.

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